// Archives

Hamlet (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Seeing the same ensemble of actors take on Hamlet two days after Cymbeline, I was struck by the demands placed on a company performing these two long plays together – the mercifully shorter Hamlet still ran to an energetic three hours and fifteen minutes. And this is one of the consistently strongest ensembles I remember …

Hamlet (Sonia Friedman Productions/NT Live) @ The Light, Leeds

Fortunately, given that I was extremely poorly during last night’s screening, everyone and their doctorate seems to have written about Hamlet already. There are really great pieces out there by Tom Cornford, Holger Schott Syme, Eoin Price, not to mention most of the newspapers at least twice, after the ‘controversy’ (read: storm in a teacup) …

Haider (dir. Vishal Bhardwaj) @ Warwick Arts Centre Cinema

The third of Vishal Bhardwaj’s trilogy of Indian Shakespeare adaptations, following Maqbool and the excellent Omkara, is his most ambitious yet, and possibly the most aggressively political Shakespeare film I have ever seen. The film, set at the height of troubles in Kashmir in 1995, has been the subject of a huge amount of controversy, …

Hamlet (Royal Exchange) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

Watching the Royal Exchange production of Hamlet on the big screen, in a specially recorded film version (still performed in front of an audience, but with a certain amount of editing work to make the most of key images), brought home to me the significance of much of the production’s work. While I enjoyed the …

Hamlet @ The Royal Exchange, Manchester

Despite the apparent novelty, Hamlet is perhaps the Shakespearean tragic hero most often played by a woman. As Tony Howard’s excellent book sets out, women have performed the role for more than two centuries, and indeed the finest of all Hamlet films features the superlative Asta Nielsen in the role. Nonetheless, Maxine Peake’s return to …

In the Footsteps of Hamlet @ Kronborg Slot, Helsingor, Denmark

Heaven forfend that I should go on holiday without having some light Shakespeare connection. However, even a normal person visiting Denmark would be the poorer for skipping Kronborg Slot in Helsingor – the Elsinore of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It’s a stunning, beautifully situated castle, its cannons facing Sweden across the narrowest part of the straits dividing …

Hamlet (Yohangza Theatre) @ The Peacock Theatre, London

A raised platform thrust upwards from a bed of fine gravel, while towering tapestries on three sides of the stage depicted ancient Korean men and women in formal postures and brightly coloured clothes. Onto this stage stepped a man in black, reading a Penguin edition of Hamlet, who began speaking words whose cadences, even if …

Hamlet (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Creating smallness on the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is no easy feat, but  David Farr’s new production of Hamlet shrunk Stratford’s flagship theatre down to an almost nostalgic depiction of a community hall. School benches and gym bars flanked the thrust stage; fencing foils lined the walls, and a small proscenium stage marked the upstage focus. …

Hamlet (Ketterer’s Men) @ The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford–upon–Avon

I’ve recently been reading Marvin Carlson’s The Haunted Stage (2001), which deals with a phenomenon in watching and making theatre that Carlson calls "ghosting". This is, effectively, the outer frame which shapes what an audience experiences in the process of attending a theatrical event, the collective resonances carried by actors, buildings, texts, scenery, everything that …

Hamlet (Vital Signs) @ The White Bear Theatre Pub

I was surprised to see such a sparse audience for this, Vital Signs Theatre’s new production of Hamlet at the White Bear. While Hamlets are two-a-penny at the moment, it’s rare to get a chance to see a straight version of the first quarto (Q1). While the programme’s claims that it’s the first time the …